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This project has several distinct phases, or immersions, and the weight I wish to lay on each one is still to be decided. However, these phases and how I work through them, can be used to draw guidelines for an end product, or they can be more profoundly explored, in which case they can be seen as freestanding analysis projects, with their own value.Phase 1:¤ contains research on the intended target group, the new elderly, and the intersections between their cultural belonging and the types of interfaces they are accustomed to, as well as the type of interface they would be likely to accept. This work will devulge through demografic research, technology used today and the one most likely to be common in the target timeframe, “the grey wave”(projected to hit hard in many countries in the next 15-20 years). ICT research will be put some extra weight onto, as it will continue to grow as a main driving force for product innovation for general consumption and private lifestyle. Research will also have to be done on today`s elderly, as well as people who will be retired in the target timeframe; today`s adults. This will be done through a trend analysis of my own, compared to other`s, as well as case interviews and focus on the zeitgeist of today. (What main factors set the frame for the zietgeist of a certain period in time?). .
This base research will serve to imagine a scenario for the future with the new elderly in mind.
Phase 2:¤ Create a scenario. Identifying the factors that give the base for a future scenario will be a main focus for the initial part of this phase. Cultural frames, the political landscape, commonly accepted technology, ways of communication and entertainment generally paint a clear image of a time. Based on projections from technological research and demographic information from my three focus areas; Italy, Japan and Norway, I will try to do a projected trend analysis for this future scenario. This will undoubtedly be strongly coloured by my own experiences from these countries, however, I will have the need to discuss these ideas with others interested in this type of research, i.e. sociologists and cultural analysts.
This scenario image can serve as a base for a product development strategy or framework, and could be a freestanding project in itself. Exactly how much I will immerge myself in the research sketched up so far, is yet to be decided.

Phase 3:

¤ Concept creation. I will create a number of concepts based on the future scenario from phase 2, and then do a screening of each one. The concepts should fit well into the imagined scenario, and should also have certain features, like;

> communication or social interaction
> light and portable
> encourage immersion and have a learning curve
> flexible; the concept could have cross-generational appeal.

Phase 4:

¤ OPEN.
The end result of this project could be a concept for interaction, a product, or a freestanding analysis method, to be used as a tool for product development.

As I imagine the initial phases, 1 and 2, they are lines to be drawn up to find a projected intersection. Depending on the points of departure of each line, rooted in various interest areas, and their imagined end point in time, one will find an intersecting point on which to focus a creative effort. Well approved method, I guess, however hopefully it will serve as a base for a realistic future concept creation.

Progress Plan + Goals

Goal: Create a future scenario that allows for a new view of the lifestyle of the retired and elderly, and to design a service to accomodate their desires and expectations to future technology.

January:

– Research on coming technologies on which development research is done today, and are considered to be in common usage in the next decade to 15 years.
Sources: TechCast, TechEBlog, Touch, Wired, v-2.org, ID-Lab and Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at Oslo University (TIK) among other websources and research publications.
– Create a three axis diagram of different types of user interfaces related to age and culture, in order to see better which type of interface can be considered for the intended target groups(i.e. what works well in Japan, might be completely ridiculous in Italy, and what`s practical and sound in Norway, might be considered too plain in Japan..) This will then be compared to new interfaces under development, ref. Surface, Intelligent Textiles etc.– Interviews with future users. Age group 50-60, will be retired within 10-20 years. Find out about their preferences, wishes and demands to their technological products today, and which kind of social framework guides these preferences. What kind of lifestyle will they seek when they`re retired? This information will be cross-referenced according to age and cultural frame.

-Research existing solutions. “Competitive Analysis”.

February:

– Do a Trend analysis of the well grown up tech. users of today. What do they appreciate with respect to form, functions and interface?

– Create Future Scenarios. These will be based on information found in the research phase and Trend analysis, and will contain as much detail as possible regarding cultural frameworks (habits, norms), as well as projections from established research sources and personal cultural experience. – Ideation process. Sketch ideas to fit into said scenario in order to find a product concept to fit the new lifestyle of the elderly. March:

– Idea development and concept definition. Making variations of the concept to fit different cultural settings.

– End of month: Deadline for choosing a final concept.

April:

– Shaping and initial modelling.
– Interface definition
– Modelling

May:

– Evidencing
– Graphic work for presentation.
Mid May: Final Presentation.

The New Old project will start by making the basis for a future scenario, involving;– research on future technologies for the next 10 to 15 years, in order to attain a realistic knowledge base for the technology that will be used by the target group for this project.(this I do also taking into consideration that many of tomorrow`s users will be more prone to accept today`s technology and interfaces than tomorrow`s).– a three axis diagram showing which type of interfaces are accepted by which age groups in which of these three cultures: Norway, Italy and Japan. These are cultures with great differences in many aspects of their social framework, but having lived in all of them, I also know many similarities. I wish to draw on my experiences for this project and try and incorporate this knowledge in the base scenario.– interviews with members of the target group; that is people of adult age today, who will be forced to consider their future as retired, and what they imagine their lives will be like based on their knowledge and interests of today.

– trend analysis based on today`s research of social systems and social framework in the main three different cultures of this research.

This will form a basis for a future scenario into which I will project a product design concept. This product could be based on social interaction between elderly, physical activity or play, emphasising a healthy look on this social group and considering a new lifestyle for the future old.

March 2017
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